Zarquon, f1r3br4nd, are you the only one left? I was sufferring from router dropout error messages, and scrambled and generally inaccessible net all day Thursday but I figured it was a snarl at my provider's end. I was without news, TV, mail, or even terrestrial phone access (yeah, I'm retro) until Friday, when I got bored, coded a pathfinder agent and injected it into ja.net2 to look for a route to some - any - info on the outage.

I live in the UK, currently unwittingly about three days away from contamination; the kind of heads-up I saw on CDDU, broadcast nationally, would have torn the country to shreds like it looks like it has yours - I guess that's why the nets are almost totally down pretty much globally. Obviously the next thing I did after that was try to get into E - I had to check up on friends and loved ones, as you can imagine. Well, the less said about Quexo's server, the better; it's extremely poorly connected - that is to say, right now, not at all - and even fumbling for the old UMich mirror was NIGHTMARISH. You're lucky to be close enough to UMich that you could punch a message through, f1r3br4nd. The connection I ended up using had about a hundred jumps, at least two of which were cellular and three IR. I couldn't get a cookie sent but I managed Guest access and saw what you've been seeing all weekend - nobody able to get to E, no news, no nothing, and only two new writeups in the last few days, both yours. I was scared.

That was Friday. This is Monday.

I've already picked up YellowOstrich and gravy202 and we're now halfway up the M1044, en route to Birmingham Major to find gravy's girlfriend, 1=1=1 (her name is Sarah, I think). Os is a bit sl1ck3r than me, he managed to get a cookie going so I could post this writeup - looks like I just missed you. Hope you enjoyed the upvotes. Once we pick Sarah up we're going to keep heading north. I've got a couple more addresses that we can check out which I picked up during Reading '07 and those people will have more themselves, I'm pretty sure. Os reckons he might be able to worm self-relaying messages through to a cellular phone or two by the end of the day, maybe get some people to meet us on the way to the Scottish border. To any other Britnoders reading this: find us. Come with us. Bring a sleeping bag, bring camping gear - anything that's useful.

As I briefly mentioned, the news still hasn't officially broken on this side of the Atlantic, but rumours are spreading and, judging by the fleet of 2-lane military KCKATs heading past us on the road south, GovCentral are going to announce something tomorrow. So we have three days' head start on the virus and maybe one day's freedom before all hell breaks loose. I reckon that's enough time to collect Sarah and make it most of the way to Edinburgh - or wherever we wind up - before the roads become impassable.

gravy - currently driving, and I don't think I'll ever be able to think of her as anybody other than "gravy" - is the one who suggested heading north. She says the bug originated in equatorial regions which means it's probably averse to cold, which sounds sane enough for me. Maybe we can get on a boat to somewhere isolated like the Shetlands. Maybe Iceland. Maybe Norway. Failing that, plan B is to find a hill, find some alcohol, and enjoy the world and each other while we and it still exist.

Should I feel more scared than I do right now? Should I feel sad? Idk if it's because I'm tired, fuzzed or what but I've never felt so exhilarated. I've left behind my job, my home and a whole load of things I never really cared about and now we're cruising north through twilit England listening to Floyd and Ros. It's gonna be the party at the end of the world. Is it right that I should feel happier about the party than I feel sad about the end of the world?

You left footprints, f1r3br4nd, we can and we will track your location. As long as you're alive, keep transmitting. If we make it through, and you do too, then we'll try to find you. You and everybody else. KOKO.